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Greater Decatur resident says county slow to respond after sewer line found under her home

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Greater Decatur resident says county slow to respond after sewer line found under her home

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County officials concluded this home was build over a sewer line in 1953. The sewer line collapsed. County officials say they're working to assess the structural integrity of the home. Photo provided by Georgia Hill


Georgia Hill made an unpleasant discovery while planting summer bulbs at her home on Clairmont Circle.

She found a “sewage cavern” underneath her home about 10 feet deep and 6 feet wide under the front steps and corner of her home.

“In the hole was a constantly free running sewage stream,” Hill said. “I have suffered significant lung issues since we have lived here and my oldest child has a permanent cough. The walls behind the caved area are constantly damp. We were advised to mold test and did so six months ago, the results being that the mold is so bad that they suggested moving.”

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Photo provided by Georgia Hill.

Georgia Hill.

Her husband reported this to the county on Feb. 14, the same day the hole was discovered. The county inspected it the next day and on Saturday installed a bypass pump, creating a sewer line from the street to stop the sewage from flowing under her house. The county covered up the hole. The county determined the home was built over an existing sewer line in 1953 and the line had collapsed.

“We’ve contacted the county to ask what their plan is and they aren’t responding to us,” she said Wednesday morning, Feb. 20. “We have no idea whether or not we can safely stay here.”

That was the same day media outlets caught wind of the sewer story and contacted the county for comment. County officials visited the property again that same day. A county spokesperson disputes Hill’s claims about the county being slow to get back to her family.

“DeKalb County representatives have been in constant contact with the homeowners, including another visit to the location today, Feb. 20,” the spokesperson said. “The watershed department has selected an engineer to assess the structural integrity of the house and is reviewing the feasibility of rerouting the sewer line.”

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